Local media reported that the success paves the way for the hop-test debut of the Starship prototype designed for human travel to Mars, which is expected to take place in two to three months.
With a test of this magnitude, with this sort of power inside an engine of this size, a worst-case scenario means fire, and lots of it.
SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk announced the test in a series of tweets late February 3, a couple hours after observers near the company's test site in McGregor, Texas, has seen and heard what appeared to be an engine test of some kind.More news: Eagles expected to pick up Nick Foles’ $20M option
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It comes just days after Musk's Starship prototype was knocked over by 50mph winds in Texas and suffered extensive damages.
There is no substitute for this kind of test-firing and, as Ars Technica notes, "any "first" test firing of a new, full-scale rocket engine that doesn't end in an uncontrolled explosion is a good thing".
These early tests are vital to Starship's success, but you might remember a couple of weeks back when the Starship was in the headlines for an entirely different reason.
Both of these vehicles will be reusable and Raptor-powered. "Engine use methox torch igniters".
Separate follow-on versions would be customized for use on the Starship or on the Super Heavy, packing a punch of as much as 550,000 pounds each at liftoff.